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Mask-wearing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set recommendations related to COVID-19 Community Levels, which measure the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and healthcare systems. COVID-19 Community Levels, as determined by CDC, should be used by agencies in determining the appropriate prevention strategies to utilize at a given time, including as it relates to mask-wearing.

Agencies should follow this initial implementation guidance on COVID-19 Community Levels (Issued February 28, 2022; PDF, Download Adobe Reader).


Q: Should agencies update signs and post information online on agency websites to reflect the latest CDC mask-wearing guidance?

A: Yes, agencies should post signs and post information online on agency websites making clear what masking requirements apply in each federal facility.

Q: Do agencies or the building’s Facility Security Committee (FSC) need to issue orders making the wearing of masks consistent with CDC guidance a condition of entry for those persons wishing to access the facility?

A: EO 13991 requires agencies to take steps to implement the policy established by the EO, and these steps include orders by the occupant agency or the relevant Facility Security Committee (FSC), or, for GSA-controlled facilities, GSA imposing requirements consistent with the EO. If the agency with jurisdiction, custody, or control over a facility has not already issued a policy making the wearing of masks consistent with CDC guidance a condition of entry to the facility and throughout common areas and shared workspaces, the occupant agency must implement the requirements of EO 13991 and distribute notice of the face covering requirement through written signage posted conspicuously at each public entrance on the property, and through other communications of internal policies and guidance directed to its employees and contractors. The FSC should meet to discuss operational considerations (including conspicuous posting of notices at entrances to facilities), enforcement protocols, and any other issues associated with implementation of the EO requirements that require cross-agency collaboration at the local level.

NewQ: Should agencies require that individuals wear masks when in Government-operated vehicles and other transportation conveyances?

A: Yes. Pursuant to Executive Order 13991 and consistent with CDC guidance for the indoor transportation corridor and public transportation conveyances, agencies must require that individuals wear well-fitting masks when in Government-operated aircraft, boats and other maritime transportation conveyances, and buses with multiple occupants. In these conveyances, occupants can remove their masks for safety reasons or for brief periods of time while eating, drinking, or taking medication. Mask-wearing is not required for outdoor areas of conveyances, if any. Mask-wearing in these Government- operated conveyances is not required if there is a single occupant or if the occupants are all co- habitants. In Government-operated vans, cars, trucks, and other motor pool passenger vehicles, agencies must recommend that individuals wear well-fitting masks when there are multiple occupants.